Statement from NDRC: Leader of Michigan’s Independent Redistricting Committee Must Actually Be Independent
Candidates for the Executive Director Role Can Not Have Partisan Ties
The upcoming 2021 redistricting process gives Michigan the chance to abolish decades of gerrymandered districts through the new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) process. The ICRC was created in 2018, when Michiganders overwhelmingly passed Proposal 2 to assemble a randomly selected group of 13 citizens–instead of partisan lawmakers–to draw Michigan’s congressional and state House and Senate district lines. The job description for the Executive Director calls for someone who exhibits “the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and nonpartisan commitment.” Of the six applicants for leading the ICRC, Amna Seibold and Brandon Brice should be rejected given their long-held ties to the GOP.
“The Executive Director of the ICRC is an incredibly influential role that will play a key part in determining Michigan’s congressional and legislative districts for the next decade. It’s imperative that the Executive Director actually be independent and fair minded — not overtly partisan — and that makes Amna Seibold and Brandon Brice unqualified,” said Molly Mitchell, National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s States Press Secretary.
“Seibold currently serves in a role that she was appointed to by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, and has donated to GOP campaigns since 2004. Additionally, Seibold has been called out by several Michiganders for her conservative partisan ties via the ICRC’s official public comment process. Brice, a former staffer for Republican Chris Christie, is an unabashed conservative political commentator who hosts a talk show on ‘The Patriot’ station, which is described as a ‘conservative talk radio’ channel. If that’s not partisan I don’t know what is,” Mitchell continued.
Experts have testified that Michigan’s gerrymandered districts are “among the largest partisan outliers in history.” If the ICRC is not led by a true independent, Michigan will never be able to break the cycle of gerrymandered maps and voters ultimately will not have their voices heard.